ارزش های معلمان چگونه بر ارزیابی آنها از فرزندان مهاجران اثر می گذارد : یافته های حاصل از مدارس اسلامی و عمومی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1250||2009||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 4, 4th Quarter 2009, Pages 463–473
This study examines the implications of how teachers’ views of immigrant parents predict their ratings of first-grade students’ academic competence and behavioral problems. Teachers rated 191 first-grade immigrant students attending Islamic and public schools in the Northeast United States. The results showed that when teachers perceived parents as having discrepant value differences, they rated students more negatively both in terms of academic competence and behavioral problems, even after controlling for student gender and ethnicity, parental education and parental school involvement. Surprisingly, teachers in Islamic and public schools did not differ in their perceived value differences with parents. The type of school students attend, however, moderated the effects of teachers’ perceived value differences on their academic ratings, but not on their behavioral ratings. While both Islamic and public school teachers rated students’ academic competence equally high when they perceived little or no value differences with parents, public school teachers held lower academic expectations than Islamic school teachers with increased value differences. These findings suggest a mechanism by which children from immigrant families enter a path of diminished expectations, albeit through slightly different levels in Islamic and public school settings.
Today, more than 23% of children in the United States under 10 come from immigrant families (Hernandez, Denton, & Macartney, 2008). For these children, schools serve as the first and, in many cases, primary entry into mainstream U.S. culture (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008). Negotiating with schools can present several challenges for immigrant families because many have to overcome language and cultural barriers to effectively advocate for their children's educational success (Griffith, 1998). At the same time, as teachers have students from various cultural groups different from their own, it is critical for them to become familiar with a range of culturally related parenting beliefs that can be as diverse as the number of students in their classrooms. As children of immigrants enter the nation's schools in large numbers, the students may be at risk for failure when teachers are unacquainted with the home culture of their students, as parenting beliefs about education and their interactions with schools and teachers may be misunderstood and subsequently viewed negatively (Delpit, 1995). In response, some parents choose to send their children to schools that match their home cultures (McCreery, Jones, & Holmes, 2007). The quality and frequency of home and school interactions have important implications for students, particularly in the early school years (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). It has been well established that effective, two-way interactions between parents and teachers positively shape students’ academic progress (Epstein, 1983). Students often display externalizing behaviors and suffer academically when there is an impoverished mesosystem with little interaction between home and school, or when parents and teachers endorse different value systems (Hauser-Cram, Sirin, & Stipek, 2003). Furthermore, Lasky (2000) showed that teachers were more comfortable with parents who shared a value system similar to their own, but often became demoralized, angry, and discouraged with parents who did not share the same values. In this study, we focus on how value differences between teachers and parents are related to teacher perceptions of immigrant children both in terms of academic and behavioral problems. More specifically, we will examine the role of cultural continuity across two types of schools: Islamic schools and public schools. While most other immigrant groups do not have an option to send their students to schools that are specifically geared toward their home cultures, some Muslim parents send their children to Islamic school where teachers and students do share similar cultural beliefs. On the other hand, public schools can potentially create a culturally incongruent setting for recent immigrant students and non-immigrant teachers comprising the majority of the staff. Prior research on marginalized groups has shown that teachers’ limited experience or understanding of their students’ cultures may lead to negative educational and psychological outcomes in children. Most of this research has focused on African American or other minority students, using slightly different conceptual terminology such as “cultural discontinuity” (Delpit, 1995 and Ogbu, 1993), “cultural congruence” (Au & Kawakami, 1994) or “cultural mismatch” (Ladson-Billings, 1995 and Villegas, 1988). Combined, these authors have shown that cultural incongruence between teachers and parents can negatively impact the experiences of children who come from different cultural groups than the ones teachers are familiar with. In addition to the impact of cultural differences that stem from racial and ethnic background, research examining socioeconomic differences between teachers and parents has also illustrated a similar pattern. Even after controlling for children's skills and parental education, when teachers perceived value differences with low-income parents, they tended to rate children as less competent (Hauser-Cram et al., 2003). Potential value differences between teachers and parents may also play a role in how teachers view children's behavioral problems. For example, teachers may misinterpret students’ behavior when teachers do not understand or have limited exposure to the cultural norms of their students (Rueda, Artiles, Salazar, & Higareda, 2002). Upon analyzing data from 11 large urban school districts in Southern California, Rueda et al. (2002) found that an unusually high proportion of Latino English Language Learners have been placed in special education based on behavioral assessments. Similar findings have emerged from other scholars’ work (e.g., deValenzuela et al., 2006 and Rhodes et al., 2005), identifying a disproportionate number of English Language Learners placed in special education. These findings are of particular relevance for children of immigrants who practice different customs at home, speak a language other than English outside of school, and are in the process of becoming acculturated to the U.S. society. Teachers may negatively or mistakenly evaluate immigrant children and consequently refer them to special education, where students often suffer stigmatization, isolation, and restricted access to general educational settings (Capps, Fix, Ost, Reardon-Anderson, & Passel, 2005). 1.1. A brief introduction to Muslim immigrants in the United States In this study, we extend the work on cultural incongruence to children of immigrants in general and Muslim children of immigrants in particular, two groups that have recently experienced increasingly negative stereotypes in the United States. Although the exact number of Muslim immigrants is unknown because the U.S. Census Bureau, by law, does not collect information about religious background, it is estimated that there are between two and six million Muslims in the U.S. and that they come from more than 100 different countries (Kosmin, Mayer, & Keysar, 2001). Although the labels “Muslim” and “Arab” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same group of people in the public discourse, they signify two distinct characteristics of a person; the former referring to one's religion and the latter referring to one's ethnicity. Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. Indeed, one out of four Arab-Americans are Muslims and the remainder are Christians. Furthermore, only about 12% of Muslims worldwide are Arab (Leonard, 2003). In this paper, Muslim participants hail from countries all around the world. Muslim-Americans constitute one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population (Dudley & Roozen, 2001). According to 2000 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey, which gathered data from 14,301 congregations representing 41 denominations and faith groups, the number of mosques in the U.S. is growing faster than any other type of religious center in the country (Dudley & Roozen, 2001). Furthermore, young children make up a large proportion of this community, as in many other immigrant groups (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). A recent public survey by Pew Research Center (2007), a nonpartisan “fact tank” that researches issues, facts, and trends in the United States, found that Muslim-Americans are a much younger group compared to the general U.S. population. Specifically, the proportion of young adult Muslim-Americans between ages 18 and 29 was found to be at least twice as large as the proportion in the general U.S. population. Additionally, the percentage of elderly Muslim-Americans aged 65 and above dropped to less than 10%, in contrast to the 27% comprising the elderly in the general population. Muslim immigrants are also quite well integrated into the fabric of the mainstream U.S. society as illustrated by the use of English at home and intermarriage across religions. According to U.S. Census data documenting home language use of the 14 largest immigrant groups in the country, about 66% of children from Afghanistan, 61% of children from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and 53% of children from Iraq reported using both English and another language at home (Hernandez et al., 2008). As a group, Muslim immigrants are highly educated and well off. According to the 2004 Zogby International survey of 1846 Muslims in the U.S., almost two-thirds of Muslim-Americans held at least a college degree, in contrast to only about 28% of the general U.S. population. The same Zogby survey also found that a third of respondents reported incomes of $75,000 or more and an additional 20% reported incomes of $50,000–$75,000, indicating that Muslim-Americans are wealthier than most other identifiable immigrant groups in the U.S. Nevertheless, not all Muslim groups fare well. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, considerable proportions of children from immigrant families reported living below the poverty threshold. Among youth under 17 years of age, 29% of Afghani-Americans, 26% of Iraqi-Americans, and 22% of Pakistani- and Bangladeshi-Americans were living in poverty, in comparison to 8% of White youth (Hernandez et al., 2008). 1.2. Muslim-Americans in the post-9/11 U.S. context The terrorist attacks of 9/11 created a double bind for many Muslim immigrants. As residents of the United States, they felt vulnerable to terrorism, but as Muslims, they also found that they were perceived as a potential threat to the larger society and certain government agencies. Moreover, the negative media portrayals of Muslims exacerbated hate crimes against them (Bryan, 2005). In the year following the attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a 17-fold increase in hate crimes against Muslims (Cainkar, 2004), and the rate has remained at this level ever since (Leonard, 2003). A Gallup poll in June 2007 revealed a marked anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. According to polling data, 45% of respondents stated that the rate of immigration to the U.S. should be decreased from its current level, and 35% of the respondents stated that immigration was a “bad thing” for the United States today. In addition, 58% thought that immigration was worsening the crime situation in the U.S., and 46% believed that immigration was weakening the general economy. Polling data has further revealed profound post-9/11 anti-Muslim sentiments. For example, 60% favored racial profiling “at least as long as it was directed at Arabs and Muslims” (Maira, 2004, p. 3). Furthermore, over 30% of Americans thought that Arab-Americans should be interned after 9/11 (see Swiney, 2006 for a general overview). Navigating through this historical period is fraught with difficulties for everyone, but Muslim immigrants who send their children to schools in the U.S. face particular challenges (Hoot, Szecsi, & Moosa, 2003). Although Muslim students are entering the nation's public school classrooms in large numbers, they are increasingly perceived as the ultimate “other” in the popular discourse (Bryan, 2005), and teachers generally have limited knowledge of Islam (Mastrilli & Sardo-Brown, 2002). In their survey of 218 pre-service teachers, Mastrilli and Sardo-Brown (2002) found that an alarming number indicated an extremely limited knowledge of the Islamic faith or the extensive global influence of Islam. One in four participants did not even respond when asked how they would facilitate the learning of a Muslim student in their classroom. Finally, when responding to the item “what is the first thing that occurs to you when you hear the term Islam,” about third of the participants reported a negative reaction upon hearing the word Islam, using terms such as “terrorists,” “enemy,” “trouble,” “war,” “Bin Laden,” and “unfair treatment of women.” Thus, these findings suggest that in addition to having an extremely limited understanding and knowledge of the cultural background of their Muslim students, teachers may be influenced by the anti-Muslim sentiments common in post-9/11 United States. 1.3. Schooling of Muslim students in the U.S. There are two main schooling options for immigrant Muslim families in the U.S. today: public schools and Islamic schools. The American public school system poses many challenges for Muslim students. The teaching of Islam in American public schools often includes stereotypical portrayals of Muslims, distortions, omissions, and textbook inaccuracies (Hermansen, 2003 and Kassam, 2003). Furthermore, Muslim students often face difficulty adhering to religious requirements due to conflicting school policies. Mandatory mixed gender physical education classes commonly found in U.S. public schools directly conflict with Islamic cultural values (Zine, 2001). Muslims are also required to pray five times per day (Hoot et al., 2003) and often follow strict dietary rules based on religiously sanctioned halal (permissible) and pork-free food products (Hoot et al., 2003). Although adhering to many traditions such as these is not required before puberty, many Muslim parents encourage their children to follow religious practices at a younger age. Partly because of these challenges, some parents choose to send their children to private Islamic schools. In 2001, there were 170 private Islamic schools in the United States, with each school serving an average of 150 students (Nimer, 2002). Many parents are drawn to the opportunity for their child to learn in a completely Islamic environment where all learning is integrated through an Islamic point of view. Islamic morals, behaviors, and practices that are often difficult to adhere to in public schools are integrated into the daily lives of students. For example, Islamic schools set aside times for children to pray and provide halal foods in their cafeterias (Merry, 2005). Classes and activities are scheduled around Ramadaan and other significant Islamic holidays (Nimer, 2002), all of which are celebrated extensively. Islamic schools’ approach to moral issues such as coed physical education classes and manner of dress often coincide with the values taught in Muslim homes (Al-Romi, 2000). Finally, Islamic schools also incorporate many aspects of Muslim cultural heritage that are often inadequately and inaccurately represented in the public school curriculum. Instruction in non-Western languages such as Urdu, Arabic, and Farsi is integrated into the curricula of many Islamic schools (Merry, 2005). Islamic schools provide a safe haven for Muslim children to adhere to Islamic practices without the fear of hostility from school officials and other students (Merry, 2005). Muslim students have the opportunity to experience positive peer relationships and influences and a sense of belonging (Badawi, 2006). That can be a great comfort to Muslim children (Uddin, 2006), particularly in light of the current anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim climate that permeates the present-day United States. Finally, Islamic schools place significant emphasis on reading, math, and science and adhere to high academic standards. Islamic schools prepare their students for attending American universities by adhering to a standard curriculum and administering important standardized tests (Al-Romi, 2000). Thus, parents send their children to Islamic schools not only to teach them Muslim values and practices, but also to ensure that their children are competitive for jobs and college (Nimer, 2002). However, we must also note that although Islamic schools are available in all major cities and many metropolitan areas where Muslim immigrants have settled in the U.S., an overwhelming majority of Muslim parents choose to send their children to public schools for a variety of reasons. As such, some devout Muslim families face particular challenges in their negotiations with teachers on behalf of their children. 1.4. Research questions In summary, most of the previous work on cultural incongruence has focused on minority students and their academic achievement. In this study, we attempt to expand the existing literature by focusing on children of immigrants and teacher perceptions of children's problem behaviors and academic competence. We also examine the potential influence of attending Islamic versus public schools for Muslim immigrant children. Specifically, the following four questions are addressed in the present study: 1. Are there significant differences between students attending Islamic and public schools in terms of teachers’ perceptions of (a) parental school involvement, (b) parents’ values, (c) student academic competence in math and literacy, and (d) student internalizing and externalizing behavior problems? 2. What is the degree to which teachers’ perceived value differences predict their ratings of academic competence, after controlling for important background factors? 3. What is the degree to which teachers’ perceived value differences predict their ratings of student behavioral problems, after controlling for important background factors? 4. To what degree does the type of school (Islamic vs. public) moderate the effects of teachers’ perceived value differences on academic competence and behavioral problems for children of immigrants?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Despite its limitations, the present study offers several important contributions. First, it expands our understanding of the role that teachers’ values play in their ratings of students. Specifically, the study findings corroborate and extend the results of an earlier study (Hauser-Cram et al., 2003) on children of low-income families to immigrant children and further demonstrate the effect of teacher values on not only academic expectations, but also on ratings of behavioral problems. Second, when comparing Islamic and public school teachers on key study variables, public school teachers and Islamic school teachers were surprisingly similar in their perceptions of value differences between themselves and parents. Although Islamic school teachers and their students’ families shared a religious background – an assumption that cannot be made about public school teachers and families – this did not necessarily translate into perceptions of aligned values. Thus, caution must be exercised to recognize that value differences may still persist and hence influence teacher evaluations, even when the cultures and religions of teachers and families may align. Finally, our results extend the literature on cultural incongruence by identifying school context as a moderator of the relation between perceived value differences and achievement expectations. Although perceived value differences between teachers and parents appeared to negatively predict achievement expectations in both school contexts, the relationship seemed much more profound in public schools. Thus, the religiously congruous setting of Islamic schools may have provided a partial buffer against the potential negative influences of value discrepancies on teacher evaluations of their students. This buffer, however, did not completely protect Islamic school students, further indicating that cultural matching does not curb the power of perceived differences between parents and teachers.